The alarm clock went off at about 3 in the morning. Our flight wasn’t until 6 am or so, but it was a 40 minute boat ride to the airport, so we had to leave the hotel just before 4 am. But the fear of the taxi driver forgetting to pick us up was a real one, and if he did forget, the chances of finding another water taxi at that time was nearly impossible. So the first sigh of relief was the sight of a fantastic classic wooden taxi-launch waiting for us on the dock outside our hotel, Oltre il Giardino. What followed was one of the most memorable 20-30 minutes of our visit to Venice…
The canals were dark and still. The city was definitely asleep, with few souls stirring in the little alleyways and canals near our hotel. The taxi had a little “headlight” but passing through the dark canals was one of the eeriest yet fascinating rides we have ever experienced. When we got to the main canal, some of the buildings were lit up, so landmarks were more readily visible, but otherwise, there was little activity anywhere in Venice.
The Rialto bridge, normally overrun by tourists, looked almost hauntingly deserted.
Other facades were lit with more attractive yellow or warmer toned lights.
And after we left the canals of Venice and started crossing the lagoon, almost the only lights we could see were those of the control panel of the boat. We would arrive safely at the airport, but problems with our flights from that point on led to a 36 hour transit time (!) home to Manila.